Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lucky or Blessed

Recently I've heard that we are lucky. We're lucky because I get to stay home with the kids. We're lucky that we have a lot of food in our house. We're lucky that we don't have credit card debt, or any debt other than our house payment.

Folks, I'm not buying it. It's not luck. Our secret is being blessed by God and good old fashioned WORK!!!

Let me share.

Thirteen years ago I quit my job because this mom simply could not "do-it-all." I could not work, maintain a marriage and children and keep a home. My husband put figures down on paper and we were actually going in the hole by me working.

We have never lived extravagantly. At that time, our family car was a new, stripped down Ford Escort. I'm talking stripped down - it didn't even have an AM/FM radio or air conditioning. My husband drove a very old, cheap, beater car that we paid very little cash for. There were times when our family only had one car.

In addition to this, we've never been on a vacation, just short day-trips, I hang nearly every load of laundry outside or on makeshift racks inside, I clip coupons and try to make the most of every $$$ we spend. We do all of our own lawncare and home maintenance. We cut our own firewood for heat. We cook much of our own food from scratch. We grow a half acre garden and can approximately 600 quarts of fresh produce every year. These are just some of the examples of how we lived, even before the recession.

Don't tell me that I'm lucky and am out of touch with crises that come up. It was not always like this. When Daughter #3 was born with a head-to-toe rash and cried 22hours a day. Obviously, something was wrong. I took her from specialist to specialist trying to find out what was wrong. No one helped. I racked up $11,000 in medical bills. We took out a home equity line of credit to pay those bills, so bill collectors did not call and wake us when we were able to get a little sleep. We have refinanced and added this onto our first and only mortgage. Our payments are still less than most pay for rent. PTL!

Don't tell me I don't understand, you have bad health. You just don't have the energy. I breast fed Daugter #3 for almost three years because we couldn't find anything that she could eat! In addition I had to eliminate the things she was allergic to in my diet. Eventually, I went on to become allergic to the same foods as she is. I suffered from malnourishment, celiac disease, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. My hair was falling out in clumps and I looked like a walking skeleton. I thought I was going to die. I chose to spend my "free time" looking for alternatives to traditional medicine. Today, at 36 years, I feel better than I ever have in my life. Mother, your health and your family's depends on you. You have the choice to cook a nourishing (cheaper) meal or do other things.

I think rather than luck, life's about choices. We chose to lead a simple life years ago and are in a good position now. We chose to be accustomed to finding simple pleasures.

Please don't say, I don't know how, no one's ever showed me...blah, blah, blah. I was never showed the frugal, or simple way of life either. The internet is a wonderful resource.

Like money, time has to be spent carefully, but everyone is given the same amount. The rich and poor alike. What do you do with your 24 hours?

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